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tv   Pres. Biden Finland President Sweden Prime Minister on Joining NATO  CSPAN  May 20, 2022 10:52am-11:21am EDT

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>> the finnish president and the swedish prime minister join president biden at the white house to talk about their bid to join the nato alliance amid russia's invasion of ukraine. president biden said the countries have complete backing of the u.s. and joining nato. this is about 25 minutes. >> [inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by the president of the republic of finland and the prime minister of sweden. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> please, please be seated. thank you. >> is not only a beautiful day, this is in my view and the view of my team a momentous day. it's a very, very good day. today, i am proud to welcome and offer the strong support of the united states with the applications t of two great democracies and two close, highly capable partners to join the strongest, most powerful defensive alliance in the history of the world. two proud, independent countries exercising their sovereign right all states possess to the side their own security.
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president niinisto, you are, and prime minister andersson, it's a great and have both of you at the white house as finland and sweden begin the process of joining nato. it was out of the wreckage of world war ii that nato was formed. and in the seven decades that followed, nato has proved itself an indispensable alliance committed to a europe whole, free, and at peace. but in recent years, doubts begin to arise. was nato still relevant? was it still ineffective? is it still needed in the 21st century world? today, there is no question, nato is relevant, it is effective, and it is more needed now than ever.
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the indispensable alliance of decades past is still the indispensable alliance for the world we face today and, i would argue, tomorrow as well. and the decision of sweden and finland, the one they had made, is testament to that commitment. this is about the future. it's about a revived nato that has the tools and resources, the clarity and conviction to defend our shared values and lead the world. sweden and finland are already among our closest partners on a range of issues, from strengthening peace and stability to advancing human rights, to taking on the climate crisis and addressing food insecurity, from strengthening the global health to promoting development. finnish and swedish troops, finnish and swedish troops have already served shoulder to shoulder with the u.s. and nato forces in kosovo, and
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afghanistan, and in iraq. and both finland and sweden are already working in coordination with the united states and our other allies and partners to support the brave people of ukraine as they defend their freedom against russia's invasion. sweden and finland have strong democratic institutions, strong militaries, and strong and transparent economies, and a strong moral sense of what is right. they meet every native n requirement, and then some. and having two two new natos in the high north will enhance the security of our alliance and deepen our security cooperation across the board. today, the president, the prime minister, and i had v a very god discussion about nato accession, about the war in ukraine, and strengthening transatlantic security.
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but our conversations began well before today. president niinisto and i spoke last december and again in january in the weeks leading up to russia's unjust and unprovoked assault on ukraine. in march, the president came to the white house, came to the white house to see me, to discuss this brutal conflict and the rupture it's causing in europe. while we were in the oval office together, we picked up the phone and we called the prime minister. and the three of us all spoke, and we spoke again last week when i invited them to come to the white house today. we have consulted closely at every stage as sweden and finland made their determinations. and today i am proud to assure them that they have the full, total, complete backing of the united states of america. today, my administration is admitting to the united states
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congress reports on nato accession for both countries so the senate can efficiently and quickly moved on advising and consenting to thesi treaty. i greatly appreciate senator schumer and mcconnell's support, as well as senator menendez and senator risch, to move this to the senate as quickly as possible once the perspective of all allies are dressed and native adopts the a session protocols -- accession protocols. .. stronger. not just because of the capacities, but because they are strong, strong democracies. a strong, united nato is the foundation of america's security. by joining nato,
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an attack on one is an attack against all. it's article 5 of the washington treaty and the core building block of our alliance. and the only time in history article 5 has been invoked was after 9/11 when the united states was attacked and all our allies rallied to our side. the united states will never forget that. and we will never fail in our pledge to defend every single inch of natoterritory . i welcome sweden and finland choosing that responsibility as well. it's going to benefit all of our people and today, president, prime minister and i committed we will work together to remain vigilant against the threats to our shared security and deter and
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confront any aggression while finland and sweden are in the succession process. there's s plenty to miss between the cop and a. we are in once it is moving forward. ireally mean it. and i really mean it so let me be clear . the new members joining nato is not a threat to any nation . it never has been. nato's purpose is to defend against aggression. that's its purpose, to defend. let no one make a mistake n. of the meaning of this historic day. in the face of aggression nato has not grownweaker and more divided . it has grown stronger, more united. and finland and sweden's decision to request made membership in nato will be enhanced for all time . standing together today to
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reject the bloodied creed that might makes right and we declare a more powerful creed. all for one and one for all because what nato makes strong isn't just our enormous military capacity or our commitment to each other. to its values. nato is an alliance of choice , not coercion. this is a victory for democracy inaction . finland and sweden are seeking to join nato because they are there citizens demanded and their elected leaders heard them. that's how it works when leaders derive their power from the consent of the government. from the consent of the governed and that's why nato's open-door has always been so important. it allows nations to choose for themselves to ask to be part of a group of nations that value freedom, democracy and human dignity above all else.
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countries must demonstrate that they meet nato's high standards for military operability, economic transparency and democratic accountability. that's what sweden and on finland have done. so today it's an affirmation of those countries in europe that share our values that we are willing and able to do what it takes to be part of the alliance . nato's door remains open. in just a few minutes i'll be leaving to spend timewith two of our indo pacific allies . and within a half hour or so i'll be flying to therepublic of korea and japan .i think the president and prime minister for traveling here for this meeting before itake off because it is so important . america's alliance in europe and in asia keeps us and i would argue the world strong and secure.
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there how we confront the challenge of our time and deliver for our people today. and harness opportunities for a bettertomorrow . and i look forward to soon calling sweden and finland our friends, partners and nato allies. i want to thank you both for being here and i want to invite each of you to say a few words and we will start mister president. the podium is yours. >>. [inaudible] mister president, it is with great pleasure and honor to be standing here today with you together with sweden's prime minister, magdalena andersson. we are ahere for a very good reason .together, we are
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taking a historic step by seeking to join the north atlantic treaty organization. finland has made its decision . the process has once again redeemed the strength of sweden's democracy. starting from the strong public support that decision was made with an overwhelming parliamentary majority and it also enjoys huge strong popular support. i want to thank you mister president for your steadfast support throughout this hrprocess. in early march i visited the white house and you encouraged us to go further. that was vitally important to our process.
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your statement yesterday and our meeting today are a testimony of enduring commitment. the united states has made to european and transatlantic security. i want to assure that finland will become a strong nato ally. we take our security very seriously. the finnish armed forces are one of the strongest in europe. we have also consistently invested in developing our capabilities. the finns willingness to defend their country is one of the highest in the whole world. we are ready to contribute to the security of the whole. making the commitment to mutual security. that being the nato ally.
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now that we have taken this first decisive step, it is time for nato allies to weigh in. we hope for strong support from all allies and for a swift gratification of our membership once it is agreed. i believe the united states can set a crucially important example to others . the turkish leadership has recently expressed concerns about our membership application. i want to address these concerns today . finland has always had proud bilateral relations to turkey . as nato allies we will commit to turkey security just as turkey will commit to keour security.
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we take terrorism seriously. we condemn terrorism in all its forms and we are actively engaged in combating it. we are open to discussing all the concerns. turkey may have concerning our membership in an open and constructive manner. this has already taken place and they will continue in the next days. 24 february, i said the masks have fallen and we see only the cold faces of war. russia's war in ukraine has changed europe and our security environment. finland takes the step of nato membership in order to
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strengthen not only its own security also in order to strengthen final transatlantic security. this is not away from anybody. like you said, nato is protecting, defending. not a threat to anybody. at the same time we must not forget that at this very moment the great people of ukraine are fighting not only for their own freedom and democracy but for our common security. finland together with the eu and united states stand firmly behind ukraine. so mister president once again n i want to thank you for making history with us. thank you.
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>> mister president, thank you for welcoming me to the white house. the bond between sweden and the united states are strong and long-standing and as you know, swedes first set foot in your home state of delaware in 1638. and we were one of the first countries to recognize the united states as an independent nation in 1783. since then our countries have developed a deep and long-standing friendship through family ties, trade and mutual interest and i personally very much want part of this. most of all our shared values and belief in democracy and freedom, values and beliefs
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that are now being put to the test. and today the situation in ukraine reminds us of the darkest days of european history. and i must say that during dark times it is great to be among close friends. and over these past months we have shown transatlantic thunity and strength at its best. together we have responded forcefully to russia's aggression and provided unprecedented support to ukraine. we have not flinched. and mister president, i want to thank you for the massive us support to ukraine and for your sustained engagement in european society. president niinisto and i have come hereat a historic moment for our country . and for sweden.
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after 200 years of military nonalignment, sweden has chosen a new path. yesterday stsweden and finland submittedour formal request to join nato . and russia's full-scale aggression against the sovereign and democratic neighbor that was a watershed momentfor sweden . and my government has come to the conclusion that the security of the swedish people will be best protected within the nato alliance. this is backed by a verybroad support in the swedish parliament . and with sweden and finland as members, nato will also be stronger. we are security providers with sophisticated defense capabilities. and we are champions of freedom, democracy and human rights.
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we have a long tradition of extensive military cooperation with nato including all missions. and we are right now wrapping up our defense spending and will reach two percent of gdp as soon aspractically possible . and mister president e, your support for our countries nato aspirations and security are of fundamental importance . and we look forward to swift processes by nato members and we are right now having a dialogue with all nato member countries including turkey on different levels to sortout any issues at hand . in the united states the senate is crucial in this regard and i had a delegation headed by republican leaders de mitch mcconnell in sweden and later today president
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niinisto and i will meet senate majority leader schumer and other members of congress . and we greatly appreciate the broad and strong support expressed by both parties. but mister president our lo countries also were closer together and tackling global challenges . in sweden like other nordic countries has shown that emissions reductions can go hand-in-hand with economic growth. and in sweden right now the green transition creates thousands of jobs. two reinvestments in the green mining and steel production. and i actually brought the president a unique example of this. can hold her maid of the words world's first fossil. [inaudible] [applause] and
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what we see in sweden right now is that these areas are no longer struggling with unemployment or depopulation . but how to build housing, infrastructure and schools quick enough to keep up with expansion. and here i see fantastic opportunities to cooperate between the nordic countries and the united states . and i'm also proud that sweden contributes to the us economy and prosperity of the american people . swedish companies are active in every single state creating more than 350,000 jobs in the united states and we are the 15th largest investor. mister president, i want to thank you for your leadership in our joint efforts to promote democracy throughout the world . because democracy requires constant work and safeguarding. we have to win every new
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generation. and let me conclude, peace and stability in and are part of the world is a common security interest for us, for you and for therest of europe . and we stand here today more united than ever and we are committed to strengthening our bonds even further and sweden is prepared to show its responsibility as an ally in the north atlantic treaty organization. thank you. [applause] >>. [inaudible] >>. [applause] do you plan on speaking with president
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